We featured Brooke during Design Week in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, last summer. She is the marketing director at Koch Hazard Architects and plays a great role in helping designers collaborate through the Sioux Falls Design Center.

Name: Brooke Wegener

How can people connect with you? 

Twitter (business): @kochhazard
Facebook (personal): Bran Wegener
Facebook (business): KochHazard
LinkedIn: Brooke Orcutt-Wegener

Where do you live now?  Where do you call home?

Sioux Falls, South Dakota (east side!)

Give us a behind-the-scenes look at your average day.

I wake up (usually late), snuggle with my two-year-old (Lawson) then we move like gangbusters to get out of the house (shower, dress, eat breakfast, daycare drop-off, then work).

At work, I always start with email to see if anything pressing has come up over the weekend. If not, I begin tackling my project list, which I make every Monday morning to prioritize for the week. As the Marketing Director at Koch Hazard Architects, every day is different. Most days I assist the architects in organizing content and graphics for current clients and potential clients. I also maintain our website and social media, as well as plan our company and community events. Once the work-day is over, I hit the road to pick-up Lawson from daycare. We then eat dinner and head to the park or go for a scooter ride if it’s nice outside or relax at home with a movie or toys if the weather isn’t cooperating. Next, bedtime, books and sleep for Lawson and dishes, house pickup/laundry for me. This is usually about the time my husband and I catch up on our days and I cap it off with a little bit of crafting or reading.

It’s a little bit chaotic at times, but I have a wonderful life.

What projects are you currently working on, both in your career as well as hobbies or passions?

Career wise – I am currently working on several client projects, drafting a proposal for a new client, organizing two staff outings (a retirement party and pumpkin carving for the Children’s Home Society Campus), launching some new content for our website, scheduling photography of recently completed projects and going over final details for the City Sketch Crawl! A free (open to all ages) event we are co-sponsoring with Oland Arts Consulting on Thursday, October 8, beginning at the Sioux Falls Design Center (plug).

Passions – I, along with my mother and sister, have signed up for a craft fair this fall, so we are busy putting the finishing touches to our products and booth. We call ourselves Kennedy Charm! We typically work with old, crappy junk and try and make it into something pretty! We also like to work with pretty paper and make custom pinwheels, gift tags, flowers and more. I also love to cook and garden, so our family has been busy harvesting vegetables and canning homemade spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, peaches, and next up is applesauce, yum!

What challenge in your life or work are you most interested in overcoming?

I need to work on being a better wife, friend and carving out some more “me” time. Unfortunately, my work, children (I have two other step-children who don’t live with us full-time) and keeping a house in order take up most daylight and evening hours. It’s easy to take others, especially your closest family and friends, for granted.

If you could do any job, what would you do and why?

Chef of a small, quaint restaurant. I love to cook and entertain.

What’s your desert island album/book/TV show/movie (answer one or all)?:

Jim Gaffigan (show or comedy)….hot pockets!

Since you live in one of the OTA states:

•    Why do you choose to live here? Because my family is here, and this is the community I grew up in.

•    What is the most beneficial aspect of living in the region when it comes to your career? The ability to collaborate with a wide variety of people on multiple projects.

•    What’s one thing you would change about the OTA region? I wish (Sioux Falls) had a better public bus system.

•    What’s one thing that most people don’t know about the OTA region? There are amazing events to participate in, great lectures to attend and excellent networking opportunities all over our region.

Where do you think good ideas come from?

Collaboration! Bad ideas can come from collaboration also. I think the key to successful collaboration is to know what ideas to run with and which ones need a little more time to mature.

What’s one current trend you think will change the world?

I am hoping the trend for growing your own food continues to grow (pun intended). It is so great that children are raising their own vegetables in school, we have more community gardens in our area and many other individual people and families are beginning to embrace growing something, even if it is just herbs.

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Try and think of the bigger picture. I still need to remind myself of that!

Who is the most creative person in your life, and why?

Too many people to name. Many people in the OTA region have a day job and then fabulous past-times as writers, painters, woodworkers, gardeners, musicians, and the list goes on and on.

Who is the most connected person in your life, and what personal characteristics make him or her so well-connected?

My husband, Dan Wegener. He is the Superintendent at Elmwood Golf Course. I swear he knows everybody! He is very outgoing, well-read (especially on turf) and a great listener. Three great things that make networking and meeting new people a breeze for him!

Who is the most community-focused person in your life, and how do they impact their communities?

Tie between Ashley Thompson (EmBe) and Kellen Boice (Sioux Falls Design Center). Ashley is very involved in the community, not only through her work at EmBe but in her personal life, too. She also brings her kids to whatever events they are allowed to attend, empowering the next wave of volunteers. Kellen does a great job bringing multiple design disciplines and nonprofit groups together to collaborate for a great event or cause. She also competed in the MS Bike Challenge this year! Both women are fun to be around and go above and beyond to support the Sioux Falls community.

At what intersection do you live your life?

Family and Collaboration.

Who are the three people you need to have coffee with when you visit Sioux Falls?

Miranda Ochocki, Executive Director of the Museum of Visual Materials

Erin Bosch, Director of Women’s Leadership/Development Office at EmBe

Christine Erickson, Sioux Falls City Council Member

What’s the best way to put inspiration into action?

By taking that first step, however small it is.

Who do you hope to leave a legacy for?

My children (boring but true).

What’s the greatest risk you’ve taken?

Moving back to Sioux Falls to start a new career four years ago at Koch Hazard Architects. I had come from the college athletics world and didn’t know squat about architecture. It was a fun, exciting and very challenging change. I have learned quite a bit over the years but still have a long ways to go!

What’s your biggest failure, and what did you learn from it?

In my life so far, I have had many small failures. The biggest thing I have taken away from my failures is that if I don’t try or speak up, I won’t know what could have been.